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Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Geithner surgery complicates Obama PR strategy for tax code reform

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

geithnerlew.jpg

(Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was admitted to George Washington University Hospital on Friday morning for treatment for a kidney stone.

Treasury spokesman Steve Adamske said in a statement that Geithner will undergo "a minor surgical procedure" in the afternoon to remove the kidney stone.

Geithner's physician "expects that he will be discharged tomorrow with orders to rest this weekend. He has been told that he should be able to return to work on Monday," Adamske said.

The timing of Geithner's surgery is inconvenient for the White House, to say the least.

Geithner was scheduled to "blitz" the Sunday talk shows, speaking about the economic case for the tax-cut package that President Obama announced this week, according to Politico. He had been booked to appear on ABC's "This Week," NBC's "Meet the Press," and CBS's "Face the Nation." The administration has been stressing how the plan would cut taxes for the middle class while spurring growth and creating jobs.

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that have many causes. Many people with kidney stones don't know they have them until they feel pain in their side or back below the rib.

Smaller kidney stones can be passed by drinking large amounts of water, but larger stones may require surgery to remove, according to the Mayo Clinic. Usually there's no permanent damage, especially in adults, but kidney stones can be more dangerous in children. In China in 2008, some infants died when they ingested contaminated milk that caused kidney stones.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | December 10, 2010; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. Treasury  
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Comments

You forgot one key point: they are HUGELY painful. A female colleague told me her kidney stone was more painful than natural childbirth! Your first one is the worst because the pain is such a big surprise. It takes a lot out of you for a couple days. Especially if it was his first one, he needs to rest.

Posted by: Dan4 | December 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Whata pisser!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Now would be a perfect time to replace him.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

.

Hey Democrats,

Does this mean that Timmy has to pay for the stay? Don't forget the premium - no pay go to jail. Did he pay his taxes too?

BYE BYE

DEMOCRATS

.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This is one of many examples why health insurance is not amenable to market solutions. A man passing a kidney stone is in no bargaining position over negotiating cost of services.

Posted by: slim21 | December 10, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Since he's both a tax cheat and a lousy public speaker, it's no loss. Why Obama appointed him is beyond me.

Of course I hope he gets well soon.

Maybe Orszag could fill in? Oops, he's going to be paid off by Citibank.

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Posted by: niaoren99 | December 10, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Slow news day?

Posted by: AdrianMole | December 10, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

This is good news for the administration. Geithner is really inarticulate for a man in his station and the worst possible salesman imagineable. Almost anybody they draft will do a better job.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 10, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Geithner's deductible is? Did he have kidney stones before he got government insurance? Maybe he has a pre-existing condition?

Posted by: greeenmtns | December 10, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

12-10-10: We wish Tim well and a speedy recovery. A ship only makes it thru a storm with a firm and sometimes unpopular captain and helmsman. The US ship made it thru the storm; had it not there would have been no economy and no congress. Budgeting is not fun for everyone, but what has to be done has to be done. Helping the middle class automatically helps the rich. Granted the rich do not need the tax cut extension, but the ship's captain must do what he must do. PS: The congress can always amend the tax extension to the rich later on. Whatever posturing continues to take place, rest assured the compromise (or altered version) WILL PASS before the end of 2010. In the meantime use this opportunity to remember who is acting sensibly vs stubbornly. Your well wishers at JJPHawaii.com

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Posted by: shoestrade30 | December 10, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse


I hope they also give him a soul, so he can start thinking about the American People and not American Corporations!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 10, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Tim advocated for the bailout earlier. What difference does it make, especially since he advocates the views of Wall Street. Who knows why Obama chose him. Perhaps L. Summers can shed a little light on the subject--not that I'd accept it.

Posted by: prokofiev85 | December 10, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so this first surgery is done. Next, they'll need to remove Geithner's head from his @$$, or an encephalocolorectomy.

Posted by: fbutler1 | December 10, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

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